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Tom Finneran: The Whiny Women of Wellesley

Saturday, February 15, 2014


It’s hard to know where to begin with the women of Wellesley and their hysterical reaction to the “Sleepwalker” statue on their campus. The entire episode goes far beyond satire. We might anticipate a full Saturday Night Live skit where all involved are skewered.

Wellesley College is a very elite and high-priced school. Tuition is north of $50,000.00 a year and the school enjoys a high academic reputation. After last week however, put me down as an amused skeptic of the students, their assumed brilliance, their polished sophistication, their vaunted worldliness, and their knee-jerk resort to victim status.

The center of the controversy

The “art” in question is a plaster sculpture entitled “Sleepwalker”. It depicts a middle-age white guy dressed only in his BVDs. His eyes are closed, his arms extended, and he appears to be sleepwalking in a trance-like state. As “art” goes these days it is nowhere near as nauseating as lots of junk that receive the subsidies of taxpayers and the plaudits of art critics. In fact, it’s hard to see anything remotely thoughtful or revolting about the statue. I thought of a guy who wakes up in the middle of the night in his skivvies, heading down the hallway to the bathroom. He’s groggy. He’s certainly not threatening. No self-respecting woman could possibly feel threatened by such a goofy guy.

Yet the women of Wellesley College, by the hundreds, apparently feel threatened by the statue’s presence. I kid you not. Here is further proof, should you need it, that “smart” people aren’t always so smart.

The knee-jerk reaction

Perhaps their lives and their campus have been a little too sheltered. The guy could probably be their father, beleaguered, bedraggled, and wondering what he’s spending $50,000.00 a year for. The poor shnook. He has yet to realize that he must suffer yearly impoverishment so his daughter can learn to manufacture outrage on demand.

The offended students started a petition which stated that the statue was “a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts of sexual assault”. Huh??? I dare you to take a look at the statue and ask yourself if this is a “source of fear and apprehension”.

The college administrators, predictably, failed to laugh at the petition and failed to tell the petitioners to go to class and get a life. Rather, the charade of the academic community had to be fully played out. Thus the administrators, instead of tossing the petition into the nearest wastebasket, engaged in a “dialogue” where they pretend that the students have raised valid points of concern and they in turn present their sophisticated and nuanced reply. Let’s call it nonsense meets nonsense.

Hence they offer a statement saying that “the very best art has the power to stimulate deeply personal emotion and provoke unexpected ideas…………….leading to impassioned debate about art, gender, sexuality, and individual experience”. Huh? I don’t get it. I must be getting dumber by the minute. This is silliness squared.

The politically-correct culture warriors

By the way, to the highly weird or peculiar person who is actually “offended” or “apprehensive” upon seeing the statue, I have a suggestion. Have the dogs on campus start peeing on it. Better yet, throw some bread crumbs on the poor guy and have the neighborhood birds use him as a fast-food pit stop.

I can only imagine the mental torture of these ultra-sensitive students if the artist had depicted a slightly altered image. After all, this guy in the sculpture is the poorest most despised individual in modern America, a middle-aged goofy white guy, so easy to mock, so easy to scorn, and utterly contemptible in the eyes of the women of Wellesley. But what would be their reaction if the artist had depicted a person of a different race, or a man wearing a Palestinian head scarf in addition to his skivvies? How would these politically-correct culture warriors reconcile their Pavlovian impulses? Better yet, we might ask for their response to “Piss Christ”, an utterly revolting insult to the most important symbol of the world-wide Christian community. “Piss Christ” of course was subsidized by the taxpayers of the United States, to the eternal disgrace and shame of the “arts community”. And of course it earned rave reviews for its “daring” and “provocative” nature. Each of these disgraceful acts would likely have earned the full applause of the petitioners of Wellesley, whose outrage and approvals are as predictable as the ever-sophisticated ever-arrogant New York Times. Having suspended their ability to think critically, the students dare not question the arbiters of art and culture. As for me, I say let the statue guy go to the bathroom and go to back to sleep. He has to go to work tomorrow to earn next year’s tuition.


Related Slideshow: New England States with the Highest Student Debt

A new report released by the Institute for College Access & Success' Project on Student Debt found that the average debt load for the class of 2012 was $29,400 -- up more than 10% from the previous year. Check out the slides below to see where New England ranks in terms of average student debt.

Prev Next

#6 Connecticut

Average Student Debt: $27,816

Percent of Graduates with Debt: 61%

Note: All data is based on four-year or above institutions for students graduating in the 2011-2012 academic year.

Prev Next

#5 Vermont

Average Student Debt: $28,299

Percent of Graduates with Debt: 63%

Note: All data is based on four-year or above institutions for students graduating in the 2011-2012 academic year.

Prev Next

#4 Massachusetts

Average Student Debt: $28,460

Percent of Graduates with Debt: 66%

Note: All data is based on four-year or above institutions for students graduating in the 2011-2012 academic year.

Prev Next

#3 Maine

Average Student Debt: $29,352

Percent of Graduates with Debt: 67%

Note: All data is based on four-year or above institutions for students graduating in the 2011-2012 academic year.

Prev Next

#2 Rhode Island

Average Student Debt: $31,156

Percent of Graduates with Debt: 69%

Note: All data is based on four-year or above institutions for students graduating in the 2011-2012 academic year.

Prev Next

#1 New Hampshire

Average Student Debt: $32,698

Percent of Graduates with Debt: 74%

Note: All data is based on four-year or above institutions for students graduating in the 2011-2012 academic year.


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You misogynistic asshole. If this article is a reflection of GoLocalProv, which I believe it has to be, since they allowed this to be published, you have officially lost a reader.

Comment #1 by Ginger Rogers on 2014 02 15

What a total shocker that this article is written by a middle-aged white male. If you are going to write an article slamming an entire community, you might bother to do just a tiny bit of research first. Many of the women who attend Wellesley are on FULL scholarship, including eventual help with clothes to prepare them for interviews. Yes, many of the students pay full tuition and room and board, but many have the opportunity to attend a top-notch school due to generous alumni support. My daughter is a senior this year and we have been very fortunate to have heavy financial aid to support her attendance. I am a teacher and my husband is a state trooper and she was our third in college (at the same time) when she began her freshman year. She was, however, Valedictorian of her high school class, had top scores on her ACT, had been heavily involved in all types of community service, and also was very active in many school organizations. Wellesley saw something in her that was worth supporting.

She also, however, has a phobia about hyper-realistic art. She encountered this statue on the first night that it was placed, while walking home from class in the dark....alone. She was in the process of deciding whether she should call the campus police or 911 when she realized that it hadn't moved. Not only did she have a first very traumatic exposure to this 'art', she now has to walk by it on a daily basis. I'm sure she is adjusting, but the point is SHE SHOULDN'T HAVE TO. There is no reason, beyond the shock value that it continues to elicit, that this statue needed to be placed in such a public location. If you would even bother to read a few students' statements who have been assaulted, you might have a small understanding of why this is disrupting their studies and their lives. The campus at Wellesley isn't just their place of learning, it is their home. They don't have an option to turn the channel, close the book, or even take an alternative path. Taking complete choice away from the students regarding their option to view this "art" was wrong. Period.

Comment #2 by Emily Ritsema on 2014 02 16

This is a comment for Emily Ritsema:

"What a total shocker that this article is written by a middle-aged white male."

How very ironic that you would hold his age, race , and gender against him when he clearly stated in his article that most of the hysteria surrounding the statue is it's representation of that evil and unholy trinity, THE DREADED STRAIGHT WHITE MALE!!! on an all-women campus dedicated to social justice bigotry.

By the way, tell your grown daughter to grow up. It's not real and it won't attack her. I bet your daughter would be so clueless as to assume that her male peers don't take her leadership seriously because she's a woman, when the reality is that they don't respect anyone who stands for censorship because she's threatened by words and images.

This is coming from someone who suffered trauma in the past and had gotten over it. I recommend that she should do the same.

Comment #3 by Scott Gallant on 2014 02 18

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